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Dear Mr. McKinney,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
I have seen the index card that states that John F. Boone had been furloughed for 15 days and there is no other information in the Compiled Military Service Record or CMSR. According to the record alone the National Archives cannot speculate on why there is no additional information in the CMSR. The second index card in the CMSR states that John Boone was applying for a Civil War Pension in the State of Tennessee. You can contact the Tennessee State Library and Archives to see if there is a Confederate Pension Application through Tennessee. Additional information is often found in pension applications. The Tennessee Library and Archives website is: https://sos.tn.gov/tsla.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
From Jeff Hunt, our museum director and a Civil War author and historian:
After Gettysburg your relative did something which caused him to be arrested and put in the brig. 15 is old enough to carry a rifle in the Confederate Army, drummer boys could be as young as 12. They would NOT have sent him back just because of his age.
He was in jail from September to December 1863 which was very lucky for him because the majority of the 6th NC was captured or killed at the Battle of Rappahannock Station in November 1863. General Hoke the Brigade Commander was not with the unit at the time, he had been sent back to NC to round up deserters.
The last entry you gave indicates that after his 15 day furlough your relative was to be issued 20 cartridges and report to General Hoke's command. Just because there is nothing in the surviving records does not mean he did not return to Hoke's command. Those records might have been destroyed, or not even recorded as things became more chaotic for the Confederacy in 1864 and 1865.
I hope this information will prove helpful.
Texas Military Forces Museum
This is excellent stuff.
Maybe you and your director can help me put some more of the pieces together.
Family legend says "that John was an extraordinary Marksman with the Springfield cap lock rifle and because of that he was elected to the regimental firing squad. But when engaged in an execution, John would intentionally
divert his shot away from the condemned soldier. He could not bring himself to shoot a fellow countryman, regardless of the charge" (as told by his granddaughter Lydia Boone Powell to David Boone).
With that being said, I am wondering if his arrest had something to do with his not performing his duties as a member of the Firing Squad. What are your thoughts."
As for not returning, the Tennessee Archives has his application for a pension which was denied. John Fagan reapplies with documentation from friends regarding why he could not rejoin his unit- he was in Roan Mountain, TN, and Union forces surrounded the area.
This has been a tremendous help for the book I am writing about our family history\!
Thank you, and Be Blessed!
Glad we could be of some assistance. There are of course many reasons he could have been arrested, refusal to take part in a firing squad would be one of them. Some of the soldiers in the squad were given blanks, so that supposedly no one would know who fired the fatal shot but a trained soldier would know the difference between firing a live round and a blank round.
There were apparently large numbers of deserters on both sides after Gettysburg, and the Commands eventually had to resort to harsh measures to try and steam the tide of soldiers leaving.
Again thank you for your previous response, that is extremely helpful!
If a soldier was "in arrest" was he actually confined to a cell, room, special tent, or where? Like you mentioned earlier with John Fagin Boone being in arrest for 4 months after Gettysburg, he missed Rappahannock Station. Where would he have been confined, back in Richmond or somewhere else?
John had an uncle and cousin in the same unit and one of them spent time in arrest. So I am trying to also determine what the timeline is regarding his participation in some of the battles.
Again, you have been extremely helpful?
You say your ancestor applied for a TN pension. Did he live in TN? I looked in the 5 volume set of The Tennessee Civil War Veterans Questionnaires for John Boone and found a John Boone and Nute Boone listed as having served along side William Thomas Barnes in Co E of the 38th TN Regt.
Thanks, Joanie Cool Jackson